Tuesday, January 26, 2016

Day 2233

It's a good thing I had my movie today. Absolutely nothing happened. It was cold and grey outside. The phone didn't ring. There were no deadlines to meet. It was a perfect day to watch The Martian. It was a long movie so I waited until the dogs took their even longer morning nap after breakfast. Coincidentally, this is also when I tend to get the most work done. Almost like clockwork, both dogs sleep soundly from about 9 AM until 1 PM, when they wake up again for lunch.

I'd already read Andy Wier's book, so I was wondering how a story with very little dialog would work as a film. Drew Goddard leaves out quite a bit in the screenplay, but still managed to transform one of the best books I've read in a long time into a nail biting and compelling script. I'm old enough to remember when Ridley Scott and his brother Tony directed television commercials at RSA. If you were in advertising during the late 1970's and early 1980's, Ridley Scott Associates was the gold standard for commercial production companies. Before he went on to direct groundbreaking movies like Alien and Blade Runner, he created the famous 1984 commercial which ran once during the Super Bowl and launched the Apple Macintosh computer. I loved that commercial. With all this in mind, I was expecting a lot from this movie and I wasn't disappointed. I really should have seen it in a theater, but for me a large, high resolution monitor in a dark room was almost the same thing.

I hope The Martian does something to rekindle interest in space. I remember clearly the excitement that the race to land a man on the moon generated. It was one of the few things in my lifetime that genuinely seemed to unite people around the world. A few years after Apollo 11 landed in the Sea of Tranquility, the real life drama of the the failed Apollo 13 mission seemed to capture the world's attention in much the same manner as Mark Watney did when the world learned he was stranded on Mars. We are explorers. I think we need to direct our energies outward again. We're spent far too many years looking inward.

The only thing I explored today was how to use my old Olympus camera lenses on a new Panasonic camera. Manufacturers have virtually stopped making digital cameras with optical viewfinders. Everyone is migrating to the new smaller mirrorless cameras. Since I like the Panasonic GH4, I've been trying to salvage some of my favorite older lenses and use them with this micro 4/3 format. With the right adapter, you can use just about any lens manually, but I wanted to keep using the auto-focus and image stabilization features of newer lenses. I tested an adapter today that was supposed to let me do this, but I was disappointed. The auto focus of my favorite Olympus lens still worked, but it was so slow. I think it's back to square one with this idea. It's too bad that expensive technology becomes obsolete so quickly. Back in the film era, my Nikon cameras and lenses served me for decades. It doesn't work that way anymore.

Dot seemed kind of shaky today. I always worry a lot when she's having a bad day. There's no way to stop this slow, degenerative process she's going through, but I sure wish there was a way to slow it down a bit more. Dot seems to react to sunlight and warmth the same way I do. I'm hoping that when the weather improves, she'll get her mojo back.

Jazz is today's Dalmatian of the Day
Watch of the Day